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The Skift New Luxury newsletter is our weekly newsletter focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.
When a hotel company buys another one, there are always worries about what might happen to the loyalty programs.
In the case of AccorHotels and Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, it has taken the French company two years to combine each of the schemes and although it is early days, there look to be some early winners and losers.
Legacy members of Le Club AccorHotels will have more ways to earn and use points, but the change might disappoint those in the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel programs.
Perhaps the bigger story though, is that the trend for consolidation within the hotel industry is likely to see the merging of more loyalty programs with market leaders gobbling up the smaller players.
Whether this is a good thing or not depends on who you ask.
— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor
5 Looks at Luxury
AccorHotels Finally Combines Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel Loyalty Programs With Its Own: There’s so much more AccorHotels could be doing with its loyalty program, including integrating it with its Accor Local mobile app. For now, however, the company seems more focused on making sure it doesn’t upset any elite loyalty members from Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel.
Seabourn Is Building Expedition Ships as Demand for Luxury Adventure Grows: Now that Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corp. have made serious moves in the expedition space, is it still a “niche” sector of the cruise industry? We expect to see more activity in the coming years from players big and small.
Old World French Countryside Is Getting New Luxury Hotels This Summer: Just another reason for the rich and famous to pay a visit to the French countryside this year. The bourgeois traveling class will come, too, but they’ll probably opt for a train or car rather than a private yacht.
Chinese Airlines and Luxury Retailers Stung by Shifting Currency Exchange Rates: China has been letting the value of its currency weaken to a six-month low as a response to a simmering trade war with the U.S. But that move is hurting domestic airlines and luxury retailers outside the mainland.
Travel Industry Feeling Spry as More of the World Goes Gray: Instead of doing nothing when they retire, older people increasingly want to travel more. This is good news for the travel industry, but it needs to work out better ways to target the baby boomer generation.